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News Releases
Lori Coyner to return as state Medicaid director - 12/12/18

Media Contact: Robb Cowie, 503-945-7849, obb.cowie@state.or.us">robb.cowie@state.or.us

Lori Coyner to return as state Medicaid director

Oregon's former state Medicaid director will return to that role January 28.

Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Authority director, said Lori Coyner's return comes at a critical time for the transformation of Oregon's Medicaid program, known as the Oregon Health Plan, which provides health care coverage for nearly 1 million people in Oregon. Allen announced the hire in a message to OHA employees today.

"Lori has more than 25 years of experience developing and implementing health policy and leading health care transformation in Oregon," Allen said. “She knows the history and vision of our transformation work and she will be an invaluable member of our team as move into implementing the next five years of our Coordinated Care Organization (CCO) model.”

In her previous work at OHA as state Medicaid director, Coyner played a pivotal role in securing federal renewal of Oregon’s Medicaid waiver. She also oversaw the resetting of actuarially sound and federally approved CCO rates and helped address the Oregon Health Plan’s budget shortfall for the 2017-2019 biennium.

Before she was Oregon's Medicaid director, Coyner was OHA's director of Health Analytics, where she developed an incentive program to pay CCOs for value and quality instead of volume. Most recently Coyner was a managing principal for the Portland-based Health Management Associates.

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CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee meets December 14 - 12/12/18

December 12, 2018

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us (media inquiries)

Pete Edlund, 503-931-8873, .m.edlund@state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee meets December 14

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s CCO Metrics and Scoring Committee.

When: December 14, 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: Five Oak Building (formerly known as Lincoln Building), Suite 775, Transformation Center Training Room, 421 SW Oak St., Portland. The public also can attend by webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/rt/7438627555801803523 and telephone conference line at 888-204-5984, access code 1277166.

Agenda: Welcome, consent agenda, and updates; public testimony from 9:20-9:30; depression screening and follow-up for 2019; update on 2019 quality pool amount; planning for 2020 measure set; break; finalize HPQMC recommendations; finalize 2019 work plan; adjourn.

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Metrics-Scoring-Committee.aspx.

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Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund at 503-931-8873, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

OHA responds to audit on Prescription Drug Monitoring Program - 12/11/18

Dec. 11, 2018

Media contact: Saerom England, 971-239-6483, om.y.england@state.or.us">saerom.y.england@state.or.us

OHA responds to audit on Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen issued the following statement today, following the release of the Oregon Secretary of State’s audit on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program:

"We want to thank the Secretary of State’s audit team for their recommendations on how to improve the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, one of Oregon’s key strategies to protect patient safety in health care. The PDMP tracks prescriptions of controlled substances such as oxycodone to help clinicians make safe prescribing decisions and detect problems.

"Oregon has seen a steady decline in prescription opioid-related deaths and opioid prescribing in recent years, thanks to the PDMP and other initiatives aimed at reducing opioid overdose and death. About 93 percent of Oregon’s top prescribers of controlled substances are registered, and queries on the PDMP have quadrupled since 2012.

"We agree with the auditors’ recommendations and many align with work already ongoing at OHA. Other recommendations require legislative action, and we look forward to advising the Legislature on these policy ideas."

# # #

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call December 19 - 12/11/18

December 11, 2018

Contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call December 19

What: The bi-monthly public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission (OCC).

Agenda: Review, discuss, and vote on barriers and recommendations of HB 2198 report; OCC and HB 2198 next steps; public comment.

When: December 19, 9 a.m. to noon.

Where: By conference call only: 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis.  For more information, please visit the commission's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

State agencies, counties send behavioral health staff members to Alaska - 12/10/18

December 10, 2018

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

State agencies, counties send behavioral health staff members to Alaska

Health professionals will help kids cope with earthquake trauma

Oregon Health Authority and Polk, Washington and Yamhill counties sent seven behavioral health professionals to Alaska Sunday to assist with the state’s response to the Nov. 30 earthquake.

"We want to thank our county partners for joining us in assisting Alaska," said Akiko Saito, director of the Health Security, Preparedness and Response Section at the OHA Public Health Division. "This demonstrates the importance of partnership and working across boundaries."

The agencies and counties responded to Alaska’s request for behavioral health professionals to assist schools in helping kids deal with trauma from the earthquake.

"Children respond differently to disasters than adults", said Nicole Corbin, behavioral health manager at the OHA Health Systems Division. "Kids may have bad dreams, feel sick, have trouble concentrating and feel sad or angry."

"This assistance will help Alaska as they recover from the earthquake and the aftershocks," Saito said. "It also allows both states to learn and be more prepared for future events."

The Alaska earthquake is a reminder for all Oregonians they should prepare for the state’s own possible earthquake and other natural disasters. People can prepare themselves by becoming familiar with how to maintain emotional well-being after a disaster, coming up with an emergency plan, and having a preparedness kit with two weeks’ worth of supplies.

Health care professionals can help people in Oregon be more prepared as communities and a state by signing up for their local medical reserve corps and SERV-OR at https://serv-or.org.

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All Payer All Claims Technical Advisory Group meets December 13 in Portland - 12/07/18

December 7, 2018

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us (media inquiries)

Pete Edlund, 503-559-2216, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us (meeting information or accommodation)

All Payer All Claims Technical Advisory Group meets December 13 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s All Payer All Claims Technical Advisory Group.

When: December 13, 2-4 p.m.

Where: 421 SW Oak St, Suite 850, Abraham Room, Portland. Attendees also can join remotely through a webinar at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6730937893581997569 and conference line at 877-810-9415, access code 1773452#.

Agenda: Introduction and meeting goals; general updates; 2020 administrative rule draft edits, public comments,

For more information, please visit the committee's website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/All-Payer-All-Claims-TAG.aspx.  

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee meets December 11 in Portland - 12/06/18

December 6, 2018

Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-239-6483, phd.communications@state.or.us

Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee meets December 11 in Portland

What: The quarterly public meeting of the Healthcare-Associated Infections Advisory Committee (HAIAC).

Agenda: Outbreaks update; National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data; Jackson County pilot project; panel: Health Care Personnel influenza vaccination programs and policies in long-term care facilities; brainstorm topics to address at future meetings and for future reports; public comment.

When: Dec. 11, 1-3 p.m. A 10-minute public comment period is scheduled at 2:55 p.m.; comments are limited to five minutes.

Where: Portland State Office Building, Room 1B, 800 NE Oregon St., Portland. A webinar line is available at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3570318058788287745.

Background: OHA provides oversight and support for the mandatory reporting of health care-associated infections in Oregon via the HAI Program. The HAI advisory board meets on a quarterly basis; the purpose of the board is to make recommendations to OHA regarding infection measures reportable by health care facilities. For more information, see the program's webpage at  http://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/DiseasesConditions/CommunicableDisease/HAI/Pages/index.aspx.

Program contact: Roza Tammer, 971-673-1074, oza.p.tammer@state.or.us">roza.p.tammer@state.or.us.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use OHA programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Diane Roy at 971-673-1093, 711 TTY or oy@state.or.us">diane.m.roy@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Health advisory for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach lifted December 5 - 12/05/18

December 5, 2018

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@state.or.us

Health advisory for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach lifted December 5

Testing shows fecal bacteria levels have subsided

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) today lifted a public health advisory for contact with marine water at Sunset Bay State Park Beach located in Coos County. The health authority issued the advisory November 28, after water samples showed higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria in ocean waters.

Results from later samples taken by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) showed lower bacteria levels. Contact with the water no longer poses a higher-than-normal risk. However, officials recommend staying out of large pools on the beach that are frequented by birds, and runoff from those pools, because the water may contain increased bacteria from fecal matter.

State officials continue to encourage other recreational activities at all Oregon beaches, suggesting only that water contact be avoided when advisories are in effect.

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state agencies participating in this program are OHA, DEQ and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

For more information, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or call the OHA toll-free information line at 877-290-6767.

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Committee advances OHA proposal to remove limits on coverage for hepatitis C treatment - 11/30/18

Nov. 30, 2018

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us

Committee advances OHA proposal to remove limits on coverage for hepatitis C treatment

Today the Oregon Drug Use Review/Pharmacy & Therapeutics (P&T) Committee, which advises the Oregon Health Authority on prescription drug coverage, recommended a change in prior authorization criteria which will expand treatment access to all Oregon Health Plan (OHP) patients with chronic hepatitis C, without fibrosis restrictions.

"I look forward to approving this recommendation to expand treatment coverage for OHP members," said OHA Director Patrick Allen. "Oregon has the highest mortality rate associated with hepatitis C in the country. We have an opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C in our state, and this is a key strategy to get us there."

Chronic hepatitis C infection is the leading cause of complications from chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer. People with hepatitis C often show no symptoms. Patients can unknowingly have the disease for decades before it becomes problematic, and sometimes it remains asymptomatic and only a screening test identifies the presence of the virus.

Hepatitis C is most common in the baby-boom generation, which has the highest burden of the consequences of chronic infection, such as liver cancer and death.

Over the past year OHA has been taking steps to expand treatment coverage, and the P&T Committee has been continually monitoring the coverage criteria and emerging evidence on hepatitis C treatment.

The P&T Committee initially prioritized treatment for patients in greatest need of treatment. Policies in place approve treatment for patients with fibrosis stage 2 (F2) or greater, and all stages for individuals with HIV co-infection.

In September the P&T Committee recommended an update to the prior authorization requirement. It would remove the active treatment requirements for those with substance use disorder (SUD) and incorporate the necessary additional support into case management programs. This means the requirement that patients must be in active SUD treatment will be removed by January 1, 2019.

OHA is requesting a total of $107 million for the 2019 biennium, $10 million of which is state General Funds, to support the ongoing cost of treatment expansion. The agency request was funded in Governor Kate Brown’s proposed budget, which was released November 28.

The P&T recommendations head to OHA Director Allen for approval. The agency will then enter a 60-day notification period, with an expected implementation date of March 1.

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National Climate Assessment warns of health impacts, highlights public health action in Oregon - 11/29/18

November 29, 2018

Media contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@dhsoha.state.or.us

National Climate Assessment warns of health impacts, highlights public health action in Oregon

A new national report shows that climate-related extreme events such as heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods, are already affecting human health and welfare, but Oregon is among Northwest states taking major steps to reduce health risks.

The recently released Fourth National Climate Assessment provides examples of actions underway in communities to reduce the risks associated with climate change. The report also projects that reduction of air emissions from natural and human sources would be associated with valuable short- and long-term health gains.

"The report makes it clear that climate change is not just something that will happen in the future, it’s happening now and affecting the health of people right here in Oregon," says Emily York, one of the authors of the Northwest chapter of the report and Oregon Health Authority’s Climate and Health Program lead.

The chapter about the Northwest emphasizes that an increase in climate-related extreme events has already resulted in health effects. These include heat- and respiratory-related emergency department visits, harmful algal blooms, and mental health risks associated both with natural disasters and with gradual changes in landscapes and livelihoods caused by climate stressors. Populations identified most at risk include children, tribes, farmworkers, and low-income households in both urban and rural areas.

A project that the Oregon Climate and Health Program led in partnership with members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is featured as a resource for understanding some of the health concerns described.

Oregon’s Public Health Division and some local health departments use a syndromic surveillance system to monitor trends in emergency department and urgent care visits when there is poor air quality or extreme heat. Syndromic surveillance and other early warning systems are highlighted as areas where action can be expanded. Certain health-related services and protections, such as providing at-risk populations with air conditioning units and air filters, are also discussed. Local health department interventions have ranged from providing water testing for domestic well users in drought-prone areas to informing decision-makers about the health benefits of proposed transportation investments.

Although public health action in Oregon is highlighted, the report acknowledges that our public health system and Oregon’s broader social safety net lack the necessary capacity to respond to projected health risks of climate change. An effort to modernize Oregon’s public health system is underway and building state and local health department capacity to respond to environmental health risks is part of this effort.

For more information visit:

# # #

Links:

Fourth National Climate Assessment: https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/

Pacific Northwest chapter of Fourth National Climate Assessment: https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/chapter/24/

Oregon Climate and Health Program: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/CLIMATECHANGE/Pages/index.aspx

Climate and Health Perspectives - Voices of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/CLIMATECHANGE/Pages/perspectives.aspx

Local health department interventions: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/HEALTHYENVIRONMENTS/CLIMATECHANGE/Documents/2018/OCHC-background-and-success-stories.pdf

Oregon Public Health modernization: https://www.oregon.gov/oha/ph/About/TaskForce/Pages/index.aspx

Health advisory issued November 28 for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach - 11/28/18

November 28, 2018

Media contact: Delia Hernández, Oregon Health Authority, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@state.or.us

Health advisory issued November 28 for water contact at Sunset Bay State Park Beach

The Oregon Health Authority issued a public health advisory today for higher-than-normal levels of bacteria in ocean waters at Sunset Bay State Park Beach, located in Coos County.

Water samples indicate higher-than-normal levels of fecal bacteria, which can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, skin rashes, upper respiratory infections and other illnesses. People should avoid direct contact with the water in this area until the advisory is lifted. This applies especially to children and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to waterborne bacteria.

Increased pathogen and fecal bacteria levels in ocean waters can come from both shore and inland sources such as stormwater runoff, sewer overflows, failing septic systems, and animal waste from livestock, pets and wildlife.

While this advisory is in effect at Sunset Bay State Park Beach, visitors should avoid wading in nearby creeks, pools of water on the beach, or in discolored water, and stay clear of water runoff flowing into the ocean. Even if there is no advisory in effect, officials recommend avoiding swimming in the ocean within 48 hours after a rainstorm.

Although state officials advise against water contact, they continue to encourage other recreational activities (flying kites, picnicking, playing on the beach, walking, etc.) on this beach because they pose no health risk even during an advisory. Neighboring beaches are not affected by this advisory.

The status of water contact advisories at beaches is subject to change. For the most recent information on advisories, visit the Oregon Beach Monitoring Program website at http://www.healthoregon.org/beach or call 971-673-0440, or 877-290-6767 (toll-free).

Since 2003 state officials have used a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to monitor popular Oregon beaches and make timely reports to the public about elevated levels of fecal bacteria. Oregon state organizations participating in this program are the Oregon Health Authority, Department of Environmental Quality, and Parks and Recreation Department.

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OHA announces coordinated care organizations will establish service areas based on counties for next round of contracts - 11/28/18

November 28, 2018

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us

OHA announces coordinated care organizations will establish service areas based on counties for next round of contracts

The Oregon Health Authority says all new and existing applicants for coordinated care contracts will have to define their service areas by county for the 2020-2024 contract period. A service area is where people have to live to be members of a coordinated care organization (CCO). A service area does not impose limits on the location of a CCO's provider network.

Currently 15 CCOs operate in service areas defined in 2012 through the state’s request for applications (RFA) process. Of those, nine have boundaries that do not follow county lines.

As the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) develops contracts for the next five years of coordinated care, also known as “CCO 2.0,” the agency sought public comment on how to best define service areas for current and potential new applicants. Public comment received by OHA supported establishing service areas based on county boundaries.

CCO applicants will be allowed to seek exceptions to county-wide coverage. Those applicants will need to demonstrate how their proposed service area would do a better job of achieving the transformation priorities of CCO 2.0, the benefit to members and the community, how it addresses patient travel and referral patterns, and that the proposal is not designed to minimize financial risk and does not create adverse selection.

This announcement comes as OHA officially closes public comment today on policymaking related to the next round of CCO contracts.

On November 19 OHA held public input sessions on member enrollment and rate setting for CCO 2.0. OHA needs to develop a process for how members will enroll in CCOs when there is a change in CCO availability, and to develop an auto-assignment process for members who do not select a CCO in areas with multiple CCOs. OHA shared multiple proposals for this process. The agency also sought public comment on how to set the capitation rates (amount paid to CCOs per member per month) used to build global budgets, and draft rate methodology adjustments to the current rate development process.

Decisions on member enrollment and rate setting will be announced with the release of the RFA in January.

OHA will continue to provide updated information about the CCO 2.0 RFA process and answers to frequently asked questions on the CCO 2.0 page on the OHA website.

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OHA extends application deadline for Advance Directives Adoption Committee to Dec. 2 - 11/28/18

November 28, 2018

Contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, PHD.Communications@state.or.us

OHA extends application deadline for Advance Directives Adoption Committee to Dec. 2

The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division is extending the deadline to apply for the Advance Directives Adoption Committee to Sunday, Dec. 2.

OHA invites applications from people who meet the criteria outlined in HB4136, Section (2). Committee members are appointed by the Governor. Member terms are, in general, four years each.

To apply, submit the following documentation to executive.appointments@oregon.gov by Dec. 2, 2018:

  1. A completed executive appointment interest form, which is available on the Governor’s Office website at http://www.oregon.gov/gov/admin/Pages/How_To_Apply.aspx
  2. A resume or brief biographical sketch.
  3. A brief statement of interest.

Information about the legislation is available on the Advance Directives Adoption Committee website.

For more information, contact Kati Moseley, OHA Public Health Division, at 971-673-2284 or ina.moseley@state.or.us">katarina.moseley@state.or.us.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Kati Moseley, OHA Public Health Division, at 971-673-2284, 711 TTY, ina.moseley@state.or.us">katarina.moseley@state.or.us.

Health Equity Measurement Workgroup to meet November 29 in Portland - 11/28/18

November 28, 2018

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us (media inquiries)

Marcus Hart, 971-673-3363, cus.d.hart@state.or.us">marcus.d.hart@state.or.us (meeting information)

Health Equity Measurement Workgroup to meet November 29 in Portland

What: A public meeting of the Oregon Health Authority’s Health Equity Measurement Workgroup.

When: November 29, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: 421 SW Oak St, Suite 750, OEI Conference Room, Portland. Attendees can also join remotely through a conference line: 877-810-9415, access code 1773452#.

Agenda: Welcome, overview of REALD, measures overview and discussion, discussion of using non-standardized measures to assess qualitative aspects of health plans, workgroup housekeeping.

For more information, please visit the committee’s website at https://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/ANALYTICS/Pages/Health-Equity-Measurement-Workgroup.aspx.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Pete Edlund at 503-559-2216, 711 TTY, .m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us">peter.m.edlund@dhsoha.state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

Recreational use health advisory lifted for Upper Klamath Lake and Keno Dam Reservoir - 11/27/18

November 27, 2018

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@state.or.us

Recreational use health advisory lifted for Upper Klamath Lake and Keno Dam Reservoir

Testing confirms reduced cyanotoxins in Klamath County water bodies

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Health Authority has lifted recreational use health advisories issued Aug. 3 for Upper Klamath Lake and Aug. 30 for Keno Dam Reservoir.

Upper Klamath Lake is located off Oregon Route 140, 15 miles west of Klamath Falls, and Keno Dam Reservoir is located about 12 miles southwest of Klamath Falls on Oregon Highway 66, the Green Springs Highway. Both water bodies are in Klamath County.

Water monitoring has confirmed that the level of cyanotoxins (harmful algae toxins) in both Klamath County water bodies are below recreational guideline values for human exposure. However, the cyanotoxin level in areas of Upper Klamath Lake can remain above the OHA guideline value for dogs, so health officials recommend keeping pets out of areas that look suspicious.

Although the advisory has been lifted and the sampling season has ended, conditions can change rapidly due to changes in weather and nutrients. People should always be aware that blooms can develop on any water body under the right environmental conditions and can grow and disappear throughout the season.

People should always be aware of their surroundings before entering a water body, especially around shorelines, shallow water areas, coves and physical structures such as docks, as these are areas where blooms tend to develop, officials say. You are your own best advocate when it comes to keeping you, your family and your pets safe while at these water bodies.

People, especially small children, and pets should avoid recreating in areas where the water is foamy, scummy, thick like paint, pea-green, blue-green or brownish red in color, if a thick mat of cyanobacteria is visible in the water, or bright green cells are suspended in the water column. If you observe these signs in the water, you are encouraged to avoid activities that cause you to swallow water or inhale droplets.

It's possible cyanotoxins can still exist in clear water. Sometimes, cyanobacteria can move into another area, making water that once looked foamy, scummy or discolored now look clear. However, when a bloom dies elsewhere in the water body, it can release toxins that may reach into the clear water. There also are species of cyanobacteria that anchor themselves at the bottom of a water body, live in the sediment, or can grow on aquatic plants and release toxins into clear water near the surface.

For recreational health information, to report human or pet illnesses due to blooms or cyanotoxins in recreational waters, contact the Oregon Health Authority at 971-673-0440.

For information about recreational advisories, contact the Oregon Public Health toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 or visit the Harmful Algae Blooms website at http://healthoregon.org/hab and select "Algae Bloom Advisories."

# # #

Community meeting November 29 on Precision Castparts public health assessment - 11/27/18

November 27, 2018

Media contact: Jonathan Modie, OHA, 971-246-9139, phd.communications@state.or.us

Community meeting November 29 on Precision Castparts public health assessment

PORTLAND, Ore.--Oregon Health Authority officials will share findings from a public health assessment of Precision Castparts Corp. in southeast Portland during a community meeting Thursday, Nov. 29.

The meeting is from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the library at Lane Middle School, 7200 SE 60th Ave., Portland. Environmental health experts from the OHA Public Health Division will provide an overview of the public health assessment’s findings, which found low health risks from contaminants detected near the facility based on recent environmental monitoring for a limited set of chemicals. They also will provide an overview of the assessment process and answer questions from community members.

The agenda is as follows:

  • 6-7 p.m., open house
  • 7-8:30 p.m., presentation and Q&A session

Technical staff from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will be on hand to answer questions about the environmental sampling data used to prepare the public health assessment (PHA).

The public can get more information or provide comments on the PHA in the following ways:

  • Visit the Public Health Division Precision Castparts webpage at http://www.healthoregon.org/pccpha for more information.
  • Provide public comment by Jan. 15, 2019, via email at ehap.info@state.or.us, or by mailing comments to 800 NE Oregon St., Suite 640, Portland, OR 97232.
  • Review a copy of the PHA at Woodstock Library, 6008 SE 49th Ave., Portland. Additional copies will be available at the Nov. 29 community meeting.
  • Attend other community meetings: Dec. 4, 6 p.m., Milwaukie City Council meeting; Dec. 6, 7 p.m., Brentwood Darlington Neighborhood Association meeting.

The Precision Castparts PHA, released Oct. 29, found that measured concentrations of metals in the air and metals and other chemicals in soil and water near the metal components manufacturer’s Southeast Harney Drive facility were below levels that would be expected to harm public health.

The findings reflect conditions since 2016, since they are based on environmental samples collected in 2016 and 2017. The report found that a quantifiable evaluation of potential health effects from previous exposures to the metals and other chemicals was not possible due to a lack of historical sampling data from before 2016.

The public health assessment is available on the Public Health Division website at http://healthoregon.org/pccpha. For more information, email ehap.info@state.or.us.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Julie Sifuentes at 971-673-0438, 711 TTY, julie.sifuentes@state.or.us, at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

Oregon Health Policy Board meets December 4 in Albany - 11/27/18

November 27, 2018

Contact: Allyson Hagen, 503-449-6457, allyson.hagen@state.or.us

Oregon Health Policy Board meets December 4 in Albany

What: The monthly meeting of the Oregon Health Policy Board.

When: December 4, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave SE, Albany. Members of the public can call in to listen by dialing 888-808-6929, participant code 915042#.

Agenda: welcome, calendar review, minutes approval, public testimony, OHA report, health equity measurement update, CCO 2.0 potential legislative concepts review, Health Information Technology Oversight Council membership possible vote, state supportive housing briefing, Intercommunity Health Network CCO story, local traditional health worker development briefing, local tobacco fee homeless shelter briefing, local approach to social determinants of health and health equity briefing. For more information on the meeting, visit the board’s meeting page.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Jeff Scroggin at 541-999-6983, 711 TTY at least 48 hours before the meeting.

OHA Drinking Water Stakeholders meet November 30 in Salem - 11/27/18

November 27, 2018

OHA Drinking Water Stakeholders meet November 30 in Salem

What: A public meeting of Oregon Health Authority Drinking Water Stakeholders.

Agenda: Discuss the OHA legislative concept on a drinking water fee restructure.

When: November 30, 1-3 p.m.

Where: Labor and Industries Building, DCBS Room 260, 350 Winter Street NE, Salem, or by conference call at 888-363-4735, access code 1593726.

Background: The concept is to revise statutory fee authority for the OHA Drinking Water Program to enable an increase in fee revenue sufficient to support adequate regulation of all public drinking water systems. The Drinking Water Program regulates 3,400 public water systems in Oregon, which include systems subject to the federal Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), and very small systems that are not subject to the SDWA but are subject to separate state law. Program capacity has been eroded over the past several years due to flat federal funding and rising personnel costs. By broadening fee authority and generating additional revenue, the Drinking Water Program will be able to build the capacity to adequately regulate all public water systems equitably. 

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Mikayla Marcott at 503-945-6691 or cott@dhsoha.state.or.us">mikayla.marcott@dhsoha.state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2P6iCvV

Oregon Cannabis Commission sets November 27 conference call to discuss providing comments on OLCC rules - 11/26/18

November 26, 2018

Contact: Delia Hernández, 503-422-7179, phd.communications@state.or.us

Oregon Cannabis Commission sets November 27 conference call to discuss providing comments on OLCC rules

What: A public meeting by conference call of the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

Agenda: Providing comments to Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) rules.

When: November 27, 1-2:30 pm.

Where: Conference call only: 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, please visit the commission's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

 

OHA sets community meeting November 29 to discuss Precision Castparts public health assessment - 11/19/18

November 19, 2018

OHA sets community meeting November 29 to discuss Precision Castparts public health assessment

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Oregon Health Authority has scheduled a community meeting to share the findings from a public health assessment at Precision Castparts Corp. in southeast Portland.

The meeting is Thursday, Nov. 29, 6-8:30 p.m., in the library at Lane Middle School, 7200 SE 60th Ave., Portland. Environmental health experts from the OHA Public Health Division will provide an overview of the public health assessment’s findings, which found low health risks from contaminants detected near the facility. They also will provide an overview of the public health assessment development process and answer questions from community members.

The agenda is as follows:

  • 6-7 p.m., open house.
  • 7-8:30 p.m., presentation and Q&A session.

There are other opportunities to provide comments on the assessment and get more information:

  • Visit the OHA Precision Castparts environmental assessment webpage at http://www.healthoregon.org/pccpha for more information.
  • Provide public comment by Jan. 15, 2019, by email at ehap.info@state.or.us, or by mailing comments to OHA at 800 NE Oregon St., Suite 640, Portland, OR 97232.
  • Pick up a copy of the assessment at Woodstock Library, 6008 SE 49th Ave., Portland.
  • Attend other community meetings: Dec. 4, 6 p.m., Milwaukie City Council meeting; Dec. 6, 7 p.m., Brentwood Darlington Neighborhood Association meeting.

The Precision Castparts PHA, released Oct. 29, found that measured concentrations of metals and other chemicals in air, soil and water near the metal components manufacturer’s Southeast Harney Drive facility were below levels that would be expected to harm public health.

The findings reflect conditions since 2016, since they are based on environmental samples collected in 2016 and 2017. The report found that a quantifiable evaluation of potential health effects from previous exposures to the metals and other chemicals was not possible due to a lack of historical sampling data from before 2016.

The public health assessment is available on the Public Health Division website at http://healthoregon.org/pccpha. For more information, email ehap.info@state.or.us.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use Oregon Health Authority (OHA) programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written materials in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Julie Sifuentes at 971-673-0438, 711 TTY, julie.sifuentes@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2OQFAa8

 

Correction: Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call November 27 - 11/19/18

Correcting meeting date to Tuesday, Nov. 27

November 19, 2018

Oregon Cannabis Commission meets by conference call November 27

What: The bi-monthly public meeting of the Oregon Cannabis Commission.

Agenda: Review, discuss, and vote on barriers and recommendations of HB 2198 Report; OCC and HB 2198 next steps; public comment.

When: Tuesday, November 27, 1-4 p.m.

Where: By conference call only: 877-848-7030, access code 753428.

Background: The Oregon Cannabis Commission was established in the 2017 legislative session through HB 2198. The commission consists of the state health officer or designee and an eight-member panel appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. The commission is tasked with determining a possible framework for future governance of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, steps to address research on cannabis in areas of public health policy and public safety policy, agronomic and horticultural best practices, and medical and pharmacopoeia best practices. Along with this, they advise the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission with respect to the statutes governing medical and retail cannabis. For more information, please visit the commission's website at http://www.healthoregon.org/cannabiscommission.

# # #

Everyone has a right to know about and use the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Programs and services. OHA provides free help. Some examples of the free help OHA can provide are:

  • Sign language and spoken language interpreters
  • Written material in other languages
  • Braille
  • Large print
  • Audio and other formats

If you need help or have questions, please contact Shannon McFadden at 971-673-3181, 711 TTY or shannon.m.mcfadden@state.or.us at least 48 hours before the meeting.

http://bit.ly/2OOYZIp